Halt fracking now, urges MP
ROSIE COOPER and fellow Lancashire Labour MPs have written to the Energy Secretary urging the Government to halt fracking immediately, in light of recent earthquakes in the county.
More than 30 earthquakes are reported to have been recorded in two weeks as a result of fracking – including a 1.1 magnitude tremor on Monday last week, Since work began at the Preston New Road site – near Little Plumpton.
In an urgent question tabled to Parliament – which was refused – West Lancashire MP Ms Cooper intended to say: “To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to make a statement on the recent earthquakes caused by Cuadrilla’s fracking at Preston New Road, in Lancashire, which follows the Government intervention in July to overturn Lancashire County Council’s rejection of the application.”
After not being allowed to ask this question on the floor of the House, Ms Cooper intervened at the Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday afternoon, in a debate titled: “That this house has considered local involvement in shale gas development”.
The debate was secured by Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde, where the fracking site is located.
Speaking in the debate, Ms Cooper said: “As a Lancashire MP, I was horrified by the Government’s decision to overturn Lancashire County Council’s decision to refuse permission for fracking.
“It flies in the face of the Government’s pretend localism agenda, and current attempts to meddle with the process do not pass the sniff test. My constituents oppose it.
“Perhaps the Tories should pinch another Labour policy and ban fracking.”
Ms Cooper has now written an open letter to the Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, co-signed by Lancashire Labour MPs. She said: “Disappointingly, I wasn’t granted the opportunity to ask an urgent question in Parliament, on a topic which I believe and, most will agree, is a very urgent matter – earthquakes in Lancashire.
“I believe it is now just and right for the Government to halt fracking at this site, and to place a moratorium on fracking until such point as they can be not just reassured, but fully assured, that there will be no more man-made earthquakes in England or Wales as a result of fracking.”
Objectors stage an anti-fracking protest, left; MP Rosie Cooper, right; and the Cuadrilla fracking site at Little Plumpton, far right